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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Council job cuts

More on council job cuts today following a BBC Scotland survey of local council workforce plans. Ten councils had precise plans and in total they plan to cut 10,000 jobs. If you add in the other 22 councils then the figures are close to the estimates we have produced.

I took part in a BBC Scotland debate this evening on the impact of the cuts. The key point is that job cuts are first and foremost service cuts. No staff - no service. This is beginning to get through locally, as most council meetings are facing lobbies from local communities seeking to defend their local services.

Job cuts also have a major economic impact. Workers without a job don't have the money to spend on local services. We estimate that for every £1 in council wages, nearly 70p goes back into the local economy. Even those staff in a job will be cautious about spending when they are concerned about their job.

The discussion quickly moved on to alternatives. All very reminiscent of the Thatcher years - remember "there is no alternative" (TINA). Well we do have an alternative. Cut out the real waste on Trident, consultants and PFI; plug the tax loopholes; and bring our tax rates for the rich into line with other European countries. Our message is "There is an alternative" (TIAA) and its one that local communities fighting to save their local services need to hear.

PS.
Excellent article in the Guardian by Seumas Milne on this very subject.

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